Heavily curtailed of-course, for which I’m sorry
In another place, I gave my answer to the differences, or positioning, of these two AOPs. Here are my thoughts – but what do you think?
You can see all of these spellings on labels, the most common is that last one, so that’s what I’ll use: Échezeaux, Échézeaux, Echezeaux or Echézeaux.
- Grands? Well, one is indeed bigger than the other – but the reverse of the naming:
- Grands-Echézeaux, 9.14 hectares, on modestly sloping limestone ground – practically flat versus Echézeaux – north of Vosne in Flagey-Echézeaux
- Echézeaux, 36.26 hectares, on a limestone and marl terroir – multiple slopes, dips, altitudes, full-sun and part shaded – also north of Vosne in Flagey-Echézeaux
Grands-Echézeaux does usually seem to be the ‘grander’ wine when you taste after Echézeaux, but older producers suggest that the prefix ‘Grand’ is not used as a form of one-upmanship versus Echézeaux, rather that it describes the much longer rows of vines than seen in the more ‘parcellated’ Echézeaux – so they say…
Of-course the structural character of Grands-Echézeaux is very different to Echézeaux and I see this as probably due to its proximity to the Clos de Vougeot – the wall of the Clos often seeming an arbitrary separation between the two – it’s probably not unreasonable then that DRC hold that their Grands-Echézeaux is perhaps the longest-lived of all their wines. That said, their Echézeaux is not a bad keeper either – I remember Jasper Morris kindly giving me a sip of the DRC ’59 Echézeaux from a bottle that he’d enjoyed at lunch in BB&R that day with Burghound (in roughly 2008) which was robust and young – their BB&R own-bottled ’57 Bonnes-Mares was the more drinkable/open of those two that day(!)
In young Grands-Echézeaux, when not drowned out by oak (a common problem), I very often find an almond aroma that I never find in Echézeaux, and an Echézeaux is, to me, more classically ‘Vosne-like’ than Grands-Echézeaux – again, perhaps, due to Grands-Echézeaux’s proximity to the Clos. It’s easy to consider Echézeaux a second-rank grand cru in the context of Vosne-Romanée (yes, I know, it’s in Flagey…) but a single tour of a dozen or more young Echézeaux often has me in raptures – or, indeed 28 of them! Considering the size of the vineyard, Echézeaux shows much more consistency in quality (if not style) than other large grand crus such as Clos de Vougeot or Corton.
Styles can confound everything – of course! Lots of whole-clusters – or not. Tons of new oak – or not. Elegant or powerful – etcetera… I’ve tasted every year since 2000, and I do think that the DRC Echézeaux has been consistently in the top half-dozen Echézeaux every year since at least 2005 – but that simply means that I like their stylistic choices – though it can be a close-run thing with other domaines…
I’m ashamed to say that I never bought any of his Grands-Echézeaux, so can’t comment on those, but for those lucky enough to still have some, I think Nicky Potel got extra-special juice from ‘somewhere’ in 1997 – his Echézeaux is one of the wines of the vintage – and it’s now starting to blossom fabulously – it’s currently much more interesting than his 1999…
Either through simple bad luck, or a poor connection with the domaine’s elevage, and despite the renown of this particular cuvée, here’s a wine that I’ve never really enjoyed, and in many vintages too. This shows quite well though!
2016 Jean-Luc & Eric Burguet, Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favourites Vieilles-Vignes
There’s aromatic concentration here, a little herb and eventually, a little sour cherry fruit – the more the aeration the more attractive it becomes and I’m slowly starting to see a real invitation to drink. The flavour is herbed again, like the nose, but with fine concentration for a villages wine and there’s an energy to match. Fresh and complex finishing – still quite a herby wine but overall this is still attractive in style and a good drink too.
Rebuy – Maybe
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There has been a tiny amount of rain in Burgundy and Beaujolais in the last 50 days, but not everywhere – fortunately, there had been plenty since October. The ground has been parched and most domaines with new plantings of vines have had to return to give them water. This weekend, finally, it has rained – and quite stormily too. The forecast is largely wet for most of the following days, that will cheer the growers up – it has been hard work in the vines having to wear t-shirts and sunglasses for most of March and April 🙂
Let’s see how we continue, but for the moment the vines are very vigorous; in terms of their stage of growth, they are the most advanced recorded – a couple of days ahead of the 2007 vintage at the end of April – that’s 3 weeks in advance of where they were in 2019! I don’t have a comparison to 2003 or 1947!
Source: Chambre d’Agriculture de Côte-d’Or, 27 April 2020
2017 Guy Amiot, Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles-Vignes
Here’s a faintly floral character – a softer nose – but, all the same, very attractive. Only modest sweetness for the vintage but with a good level of concentration – indeed this has a lovely combination of concentration but balance too – clearly with plenty of complexity. If you want stricter, more mineral sweeping lines, look elsewhere, but this is excellent and it drank much faster than it probably should have!
Rebuy – Yes
I note that in 2020, Louis-Michel Liger-Belair has a little more Echézeaux to play with. I asked him for a few details, but at the moment he doesn’t want to say much more than “Plots in ‘Cruots ou vigne blanche,’ ‘Champs Traversins’ and the brand new parcel in ‘Echezeaux du dessus’”
More interrogations at a later date 😉
2006 Gilles Bouton, Blagny 1er Sous Le Puits
Unlike many recent ones – here’s a good cork; robust and well-seated.
The nose starts with much invitation, a modest maturity but with both energy and depth – this brings a great first impression. The flavour is a little more attenuated than the nose, finishing with a modest astringency from the tannin – just a little rustic – and certainly not more interestingly flavoured than better Bourgognes. Day two and, as luck would have it, the nose is less impressive but the flavours and general shape are nicer than on day one. Gilles makes classier whites than reds, given that, I’m impressed by his resolve to stick with pinot here, because I’m sure that I’d be enjoying much more a Puligny 1er from him! Not strictly a bad wine, but you can do much better for red Blagny from the likes of Benjamin Leroux or Comtesse de Chérisey…
Rebuy – No
Just to give you that fuzzy and warm feeling that you could buy these – if you really wanted!
As usual, the prices are delivered in Switzerland – but here, include purchase tax. Note that these were special introductory prices – the price goes up at the end of the offer 🙂
In the brackets – 2017, then 2016 prices:
Gevrey-Chambertin Justice des Seuvrées 2018 75cl 117.00 (120.60, 94.50) (*Swiss Francs)
Nuits St-Georges 1er ‘Les Murgers des Cras’ 2018 75cl 117.00 (120.60, 100.80)
Chambolle-Musigny Orveaux des Bussières 2018 75cl 135.00 (138.60, —)
Vosne-Romanée Ormes des Chalendins 2018 75cl 135.00 (138.60, —)
Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 170.00 (156.60, 128.70)
Morey Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte Vieilles Vignes 2018 75 cl 171,00 (174.60, 163.80)
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 240.00 (249.00, 193.50)
Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru La Richemone “Ultra” Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 337.50 (389.00, 385.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Combe d’Orveau 1er Cru “Ultra” Vieilles-Vignes 2018 75cl 375.00 (389.00, —)
Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 425.00 (444.00, 420.00)
Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 382.50, (444.00, 420.00)
Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl 382.50 (444.00, 420.00)
Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl ‘on application!’ (1,059.00, 840.00)
Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018 75cl ‘on application’ (1,059.00, 840.00)
‘On Application‘ – as we are presumably (already) insufficiently shell-shocked, despite some modest price decreases!!!
*As noted, these are delivered prices, but this email offer is discounted – whatever is sold from their normal catalogue is at a higher price!
2007 Lignier-Michelot, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
Oops – a cork that slides out way too easily – I’m almost surprised that the worm of the corkscrew didn’t push it deeper into the neck! It’s one of those, not very attractive, pale-looking things – it looks peroxide washed.
Given the cork, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the wine was prematurely aged – certainly, the colour is far from youthful – but the nose confounds me with quite a muffled and reductive start – the flavours playing a similar game. Only 10 minutes from opening and there’s a significant improvement; the nose remains a little clumsy but has flashes of Chambolle fruit – the palate too – but a little better than the nose. The half a bottle that made it into day 2 didn’t hold up well. Maybe I should blame the cork, but on this outing…
Rebuy – No
2007 Fourrier, Morey St.Denis Clos Solon Vieilles-Vignes
Another unimpressive cork, indeed an infuriating cork that breaks in half, the last part coming out in one piece – but only just! Fortunately, it seems, nonetheless, to have been a good seal and has a decent (untreated) colour.
Like the Lignier-Michelot, the colour is showing some age. Also a wine with a little aromatic reduction – but you can almost blink and then it’s gone – maybe 5 minutes at the most – I neither ‘shook’ nor decanted this bottle. The nose freshens nicely, and with each little swirl, you get a floral reward. In the mouth, it’s fuller and deeper flavoured than the Chambolle – more clarity of flavour and with a fineness of structure that I’m really appreciating. This is a lovely wine – despite the cork. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes
2007 Camille Giroud, Chapelle-Chambertin
The best cork of the lot – a Trescases for what that’s worth. It looks untreated and was well-sealed and robust.
Like the previous wines, the colour here is far from young – as I may have expected from a 2000 or 2001, but I’m surprised by the aged consistency of these colours – here the Chapelle is also the lightest coloured of all these wines too – it’s barely medium intensity. But here’s a nose that delivers far more than ‘medium’ intensity – full and round at the base, initially a little creamy, let is stand in the glass and there’s forest-floor and even a suggestion of balsamic, swirl and you have a heady weight of floral perfume – now we are talking! In the mouth, the shape and weight of their flavours belie the colour – complex, initially silky and even more floral perfumed than the nose – what a wine. Slowly a hint of structure, worth calling-out as faint rusticity, creeps into the finishing impression – but it’s a wine that simply declaring its youth. Bravo – super wine!
Rebuy – Yes
So, this particular bottle of Lignier-Michelot is a little prematurely aged. The Fourrier has the youngest fruit, the Camille Giroud the youngest structure, both of these last two wines are simply excellent for their respective labels. Despite their colours, these 2007s have come on very well…